ADHD: Does caffeine help?

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ADHD: Does caffeine help?

Question

Is it true that caffeine can have a calming effect on a child with ADHD?

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Answer

Some studies suggest that high doses of caffeine combined with methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others) may be more effective in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than methylphenidate alone. Like methylphenidate, caffeine is a stimulant. However, too much caffeine also can cause insomnia, nervousness, irritability and increased heart rate. Because of their smaller body size, children are even more susceptible to these effects than adults are. For these reasons, most pediatricians discourage caffeine consumption in children. Caffeine is not recommended as a treatment for ADHD in children.

Last Updated: 04/28/2006
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